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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Death Investigation

Case Number: 11-TCD-009

Mississauga (11 March, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the death of a 32-year-old Calgary man, Razvan Mihailescu, in January of this year.

The SIU assigned four investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. Two officers were designated as subject officers and nine officers were designated as witness officers. Seven witness officers were interviewed. Two civilian witnesses were located and interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that on January 20, 2011 the subject officers had two dealings with the decedent in the early hours of that day. They were first dispatched to Alderwood Plaza to speak to a cab driver who had Mr. Razvan Mihailescu as a fare, and was concerned that the individual wanted to be taken to the highest bridge in Toronto. The subject officers approached the taxicab minivan, asked Mr. Mihailescu to step outside and conducted a consensual pat down search of his person. They made computer inquiries and asked him a series of questions in an attempt to ascertain whether he had any indications of mental illness. He appeared to be acting normally. When asked about his request to visit the highest bridge in the area, Mr. Mihailescu responded that he was visiting and wanted to take a photograph of the city’s skyline. Based upon their observations and Mr. Mihailescu’s responses, the subject officers left the plaza. Other officers were in attendance at that time.

Shortly thereafter, they received another call over the police radio that a male was standing on a bridge in the southbound lanes of Hwy 427 near the Gardiner Expressway. They drove their police cruiser near the scene, parked and walked onto the Hwy 427 bridge for southbound traffic merging with the eastbound Gardiner Expressway. They saw the same taxicab parked on the side of the road and a silhouette of Mr. Mihailescu approximately 100 metres away. After briefly speaking to the cab driver, the subject officers started to walk towards Mr. Mihailescu. He had climbed over the concrete barrier on the west side of the bridge and was standing on the bridge’s ledge. When they were approximately 90 metres from Mr. Mihailescu, he jumped off the bridge to his death.

Director Scott said, "In my view, the subject officers correctly concluded that they did not have appropriate information to form reasonable grounds under the Mental Health Act that Mr. Mihailescu was likely a danger to himself or others for the purpose of arresting him when they talked to him at Alderwood Plaza – he simply did not exhibit any indicators to support that conclusion. Accordingly, they had no choice but to permit him to continue on his way. At the second event where they approached Mr. Mihailescu immediately before he jumped off the bridge, there is nothing to suggest they did anything of an inappropriate nature." Director Scott concluded, "The decedent was not in police custody and accordingly the subject officers were never close enough to have direct contact with him. Regrettably, Mr. Mihailescu was determined to jump, and it does not appear that anyone could have stopped him from committing this act.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Frank Phillips, frank.phillips@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342